A Championship 108 Years in the Making

It had seemed as though the Chicago Cubs would never even make it to the World Series, let alone win one. In fact, it had been 71 years since the Cubs even won the National League Pennant. That same year, World War Two ended. Our country has been through a lot since 1908, the last time the Cubs won the World Series. We’ve had over 19 presidents. Mark Twain was 73 years old. Construction on the Titanic hadn’t even begun yet. And the First World War didn’t break out until six years later.

Over the years the Cubs had the longest World Series Championship drought in all of Major League Baseball. This may be in part due to a curse that was placed on them by Billy Goat Tavern owner William Sianis after he was asked to leave Game 4 of the 1945 World Series because people complained that his pet goat smelled bad. Who could blame them? As Sianis left the game, he proclaimed, “Them Cubs, they ain’t gonna win no more.” This statement would haunt Cubs fans for the rest of the 20th century.

The Cubs have come close to appearing in the World Series, most notably in 1984 when they lost three games to two in the NLCS against the San Diego Padres. Then came 2003. When it seemed like the Cubs had their best shot at making it back to the World Series, a certain incident in Game 6 changed the series. In the eighth inning, Chicago had a 3-0 lead over the Florida Marlins. All they had to do was get five more outs to win the NL Pennant. With one out in the inning, Marlins second baseman Luis Castillo hit a foul ball towards the left field crowd. Cubs outfielder Moises Alou attempted to catch the ball but was interfered by life-long Cubs fan Steve Bartman. That would have made it two outs in the inning and only four left for the Cubs to secure the pennant. The Cubs instead gave up eight—yes, eight—runs in the inning, and lost the game 8-3, forcing a Game 7, which they ultimately lost.

In 2015, the Cubs made it back to the NLCS, but were swept in four games to my team: the New York Mets. This season, they posted the best record in all of Major League Baseball. They made it back to the NLCS, beating the Dodgers in six games. Their opponents in the series were the Cleveland Indians, who had won the AL Central Division and posted a solid 94-67 record. Cleveland took Game 1 and Chicago took Game 2. Cleveland then won Games 3 and 4 to go up 3-1 in the series. The Cubs fought back and evened up the series to force a Game 7 in Cleveland. In that game the Cubs started out hot, scoring six runs by the sixth inning, leading Cleveland 6-3. In the eighth inning the Cubs let up three runs to tie it up. The game went into extras and in the top of the 10th inning, after a rain delay, the Cubs scored two runs. It all came down to three outs. Chicago pitcher Carl Edwards Jr. was able to hold off the Cleveland Indians and the Cubs finally won the World Series, and in doing so ended the Curse of the Billy Goat.

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